We all know that an increasing proportion of music produced for media can be made on our computers, using all manner of virtual instruments and tools. Much music made this way is accepted by listeners, and for some, no doubt, even preferred. At the other end of the spectrum, a lot of music is still created the good old-fashioned way — by flesh-and-blood musicians who play our scores. In the middle, all sorts of hybrids are possible.
It would be of great interest (well, to me, at least) to know more about the actual proportion of music which, in its final form (e.g., in a film soundtrack) is currently being played by “virtual musicians” vs. real musicians.
Another facet of this issue: Is the public’s expectation for media score shifting in the direction of virtual music? If so, are we eroding an appreciation for the incredible accomplishments of many great composers (think Wagner, Stravinsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Copland, Holmboe, and on and on) who, without a computer, effects rack, or whatever, created music that could readily be fantastic score even in today’s films? Does it matter?
Is constant pressure to produce on short schedules forcing increased use of virtual music technology? Does this approach actually save time (or money)?
I don’t mean to suggest that using technology to produce music isn’t a true art in and of itself. I’ve long been a virtual music proponent, but traditional practice is becoming of increasing interest to me.
Please share your impressions and actual experience. I’d bet a lot of us have something to say on this topic – and it affects how we approach our craft, as well.